Re: I mourn for the death of former Prime Minister Abe (52) July 15, 2022 

At a little past 11:30 in the morning on Friday, July 8, former Prime Minister Abe died after being shot suddenly while making a speech during a campaign event of the Upper House election in Nara Prefecture. It is very sad, and I would like to express my deepest sympathies as a member of the nation. I put my hands flat together in prayer.

I have met former Prime Minister Abe several times and also heard his opinion at an exchange of opinions with the industry such as Japan Trucking Association held in the Prime Minister’s official residence and so on. I can still see him who listened intently the voice of the industry side. And there were two occasions when I met him in a particularly familiar manner. The first one was April 2018 when the Prime Minster Tobgay in the Kingdom of Bhutan visited Japan as an official guest, and I was invited at a welcome dinner party held in Prime Minister’s official Residential Quarters, in connection with my duties as an Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Bhutan in Osaka. And the second one was October 2018 when the Prime Minister Modi in India visited Japan also as an official guest, and I was invited at a welcome dinner party held in the Prime Minister’s official Residential Quarters. In both cases, his wife Akie sat with him. He is very friendly and I think he was very tired, but he accepted that a photo was taken in a two-shot without showing any displeasure even after the dinner party.

Needless to say, Mr. Abe was a great politician in history. It seems to me that he had a solid sense of nationality, and loved Japan extremely. On top of that, he had also an outstanding international way of thinking, and dedicated his power to build good relationships with world leaders in order to protect the national interest. In particular, it seems to me that building a closer relationship between Japan and the United States, which is essential for Japan’s security, could be done only by Mr. Abe.

The United States, which affects the existence of Japan, becomes an unprecedented divided society now. Approval ratings of the President Biden belonging to the Democratic Party are significantly sluggish, and it is said that in midterm elections in November the defeat of the Democratic Party will be nearly seen as a certainty. And as far as the next presidential election in November 2024 is concerned, it is said that 64 % even among supporters of the ruling party, the Democratic Party, don’t want Mr. Biden to reelect, according to the recent public opinion polls. On the other hand, Mr. Trump seems to be eager to run again, but there is what will be a conclusion of the United States Capital attack in January last year, and whether it will be materialized or not is fluid. But he still has deep-rooted popularity within the Republican Party, and according to the recent opinion polls, it is said that still 56 % think Mr. Trump should be a presidential candidate.

Under such circumstance, if something like Mr. Trump runs for the election again and wins it will occur, the political situation in the world will be very fluid or unclear. Because, Mr. Trump has a quite strong personality, and his behavior is unpredictable. This will become a severe destabilizing factor for the relationship between Japan and the United States. The person who had gotten along well with such Mr. Trump was Mr. Abe. In this regard, he was an exceptional existence among now-existing politicians in Japan. And such Mr. Abe is not in this world now, and it is a very big loss for Japan.

In addition, on March 30, 1981 during my work in the United States, the assassination attempt incident of President Reagan belonging to the Republican Party occurred in Washington. Looking at a picture just after the incident, secret services quickly protected the President holding up their machine guns. And it was said that the bullet hit his left chest and he lost a lot of blood, and there were three wounded persons besides him. The President was carried to the hospital at once, and had surgery to remove the bullet. But his consciousness was clear, and it was said that he told the surgeons a joke that “I hope you are all Republicans”. Against it, the surgeons were actually Democrats, but replied “Today, Mr. President, we are all Republicans”, and it made him happy. Such kind of episode remains. This was praised as an embodiment how a leader should be, called “he is unmoved in case of a crisis, and never forget his humor”. I felt a mental toughness of American people from this episode.

(P.S.) The Upper House election held on Sunday, July 10, ended in a landslide victory for the ruling party, as expected in advance. As a result, new structure by party of all seats of the Upper House (248) became Liberal Democratic Party 119 (+8 compared with before the election), Constitutional Democratic Party 39 (-6 same as above), Komeito 27 (-1 same as above), Japan Innovation Party 21 (+6 same as above), Communist Party 11 (-2 same as above), Democratic Party for the People 10 ( -2 same as above), Reiwa Shinsengumi 5 (+3 same as above), and others 16 (-1 same as above). The ruling party is 146 in total, and the opposition is 102. And forces to favor amendment of the Constitution became 179, and exceeded 2/3 of the seats (166) necessary for the initiative to amend the Constitution in the Upper House. On the other hand, the seats necessary for forces to favor amendment of the Constitution (334) is exceeding 2/3 of the total (465), and preparations for the Diet initiative are made in both houses of the Diet. The Upper House election this time had a sudden death of former Prime Minister Abe just before an election day, and there was also a viewpoint called “the mourning election”. Literally, it can be said that Mr. Abe has opened a road to the amendment of the Constitution, which was his dearest wish, at the risk of his life.

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